Leaked Sony WH-1000XM5 already look like 2022's best ANC wireless headphones

Sony's WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones will be more comfortable, powerful and musical

Sony WH-1000XM5 leaked image
(Image credit: TechnikNews)

Sony's WH-1000XM4 are the best wireless headphones you can buy and the best noise cancelling headphones too. But if they could talk, they'd go all Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy and solemnly say that in fact, they are only the second greatest headphones in existence. That's because their successor, the WH-1000XM5, are even better. And a new leak shows us why.

The leak, from an anonymous source inside a big retailer, has been published by German tech site TechnikNews and is full of interesting information. If these headphones are as good as the images and specs suggest, Sony's about to launch another wearable winner.

Sony WH-1000XM5: new features

There's a lot here to get excited about. Battery life is up to 40 hours with noise cancelling on – a good ten hours more than the current model – and they've been redesigned with a thinner headband and arms that makes them look more like Bose's 700 series. The ear cups appear to be more padded to make them even more comfortable, and there's a new ANC processor and a new sound driver – so presumably it's going to sound better and deliver even better noise cancelling.

If you love music and hate ambient noise, this is a really big deal. In our Sony WH-1000XM4 review, we stated that Sony's 'phones are the best noise cancelling headphones you can buy: the sound is lively, balanced and detailed, the noise cancelling is incredibly good and the only real downside is the lack of aptX/aptX HD support. Hopefully that latter one will be addressed by the new processor; although Sony's LDAC codec, which the WH-1000XM4 uses, delivers very high quality audio, it's very much a Sony thing; aptX codecs are supported by many more manufacturers, enabling you to stream high quality audio from more hardware.

We don't know the Sony WH-1000XM5 launch date or price yet, but it's likely to be similar to the current model – so that's around $349 / £349 / AU$499. If that seems a bit much, the current model is widely available for around $100/£100 less than RRP right now, and we're likely to see more deals once the new model is officially announced. And that isn't going to be too far in the future: the leaked images came from retail, so Sony is clearly gearing up for a launch.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).